Homicide Charges: Insight from a Murder Lawyer San Francisco CA Trusts
A murder lawyer in San Francisco CA from The Morales Law Firm understands that a charge of homicide is one of the gravest criminal offenses a person can face. Mr. Morales has aggressively fought for his clients’ rights since 1991. If you are facing homicide charges, contact our law firm immediately to find out how we may be able to help.
Taking another human life if it is not in self-defense is a crime. But not all murder charges are the same. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the taking of another life, a person can find him- or herself charged with any one of a variety of homicide-related offenses. If you have not yet been charged, a murder lawyer in San Francisco CA from The Morales Law Firm can review your case and determine what you’re likely facing.
Obviously, the more serious the homicide offense, the more severe the penalties a criminal defendant can expect. Aggressive and knowledgeable legal counsel can help defendants by arguing that the facts support a less-severe form of homicide. An experienced murder lawyer will make every effort to ensure their clients face the least severe penalties possible.
First-Degree Murder Charges
The charge of first-degree murder is brought when an individual kills another and:
- Intends to kill or cause great bodily harm to another or knows his or her actions will cause death to that other individual;
- Knows his or her actions create a “strong probability” that the other individual will be killed or suffer great bodily harm; or
- He or she is committing a forcible felony.
First-degree murder can be punished by death or imprisonment for one’s natural life if one or more aggravating factors are found. If not, a defendant may be sentenced to a minimum of 20 years and as many as 100 years in prison. For this reason, it’s critical to hire a skilled murder lawyer in San Francisco CA from The Morales Law Firm.
Second-Degree Murder Charges
Second-degree murder is an unlawful and unjustified killing of another that occurs:
- When the person kills the other under a an intense and sudden reaction resulting from serious provocation coming from the individual killed; or
- When the offender believes the facts and circumstances were such that the killing would be exonerated or justified.
Second-degree murder can be punished by a minimum of four years in prison up to 20 years of imprisonment. Depending on the specifics of your case, a murder lawyer in San Francisco CA from The Morales Law Firm can provide you with how a conviction may affect you.
Involuntary Manslaughter and Reckless Homicide Charges
Further down the list of homicide offenses are involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide. Involuntary manslaughter is when the killing is unintentional but the defendant acts in a way that death or great bodily harm is likely to occur.
Reckless homicide occurs when an unintentional death results from reckless acts likely to cause death or great bodily harm. These offenses can result in a minimum of three years in prison up to 14 years in most cases. Clearly, a conviction can mean a long time in prison. A murder lawyer in San Francisco CA from The Morales Law Firm may be able to get your charges reduced or even dismissed.
A Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
Being charged with a homicide-related offense is serious. If you find yourself charged with such an offense, you need aggressive and competent counsel. Homicide-related offenses are very dependent on the facts, and even small or seemingly-unimportant facts can mean the difference between a few years in prison or facing the death penalty.
Call Mr. Morales, a murder lawyer in San Francisco CA from The Morales Law Firm to set up free consultation.
Seek One Of San Francisco’s Finest Criminal Defense Law Firms
If you’re in need of a murder lawyer San Francisco CA trusts, contact our top-notch criminal defense firm. Our criminal defense team is comprised of caring, compassionate, and dedicated staff. We tirelessly look at every aspect of your case, to ensure we prepare the best possible defense.
San Francisco criminal law attorneys at The Morales Law Firm fully understand the techniques and tactics used by the prosecution and are prepared to build a solid defense for you.
To have the best chance of winning your case, you need a murder lawyer in San Francisco CA who will…
Investigate the scene of the arrest thoroughly in search of evidence to use in your defense
Be honest and forthright with you about your case throughout the entire proceeding
Work diligently to get your charges reduced or dropped altogether
While murder charges come with harsh penalties regardless of the circumstance, there are certain factors that can make a sentence you face worse.
- If the defendant has more than one murder conviction
- If the murder accompanied another crime such as rape, robbery or arson
- If the victim murdered was a law enforcement officer
- If the murder involved torture
- If the defendant ambushed his or her victim
- If the defendant is a gang member
- If the murder involved any explosive materials
What is the difference between Murder and Manslaughter?
Murder is defined as the unlawful and unjustified killing of another human being with malice aforethought (Penal Code Section 187). “Malice aforethought” is defined as an intention to unlawfully kill a human being. That intention can be either express (such as pulling out a gun and pointing it at a person and pulling the trigger after making a statement that they are going to kill the person) or implied by the actions.
Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought (Penal Code Section 192 PC). Manslaughter may be voluntary or involuntary. Essentially, the difference between manslaughter and murder is that manslaughter is the result of an accident, heat of passion, or some other act in which the person does not have the mental state to commit a murder.
A murder lawyer’s task is to challenge and dispute the state’s evidence against you so there is reasonable doubt as to your guilt. The Morales Law Firm will use every available legal tool and resource on your behalf.
An aggressive murder lawyer San Francisco CA can present the following defenses in a murder case:
- Third Party Culpability
- Battered Person’s Syndrome
- Proximate Cause of Death
- Reasonable Doubt as to the Elements of the Crime
- Heat of Passion
1st Degree Murder – 25 years to Life
2nd Degree Murder – 15 years to Life
Voluntary Manslaughter – 3, 6, 11 years in the State Prison
Involuntary Manslaughter – 2, 3, or 4 years in the State Prison
If you or someone you love is arrested for murder let The Morales Law Firm provide you with competent counsel. Call today or fill out this simple online Contact Form for a free, no-obligation consultation with a murder lawyer San Francisco CA counts on for trusted legal guidance.